GeForce 2 review, take 5 - Action!
It's been nearly two months since the GeForce 2's debut and we've already seen multiple ways manufacturers plan on differentiating their products from the reference design. Either through offering a unique gaming bundle, (ELSA) overclocking the GeForce 2 core by default, (AOpen) or shipping with an oversized heatsink, (Leadtek) the list goes on and on.
So what's Hercules got that no one else can match? How about heatsinks on the memory! Yes, dear readers, it's true, besides sporting a cool looking blue printed-circuit board, the 3D Prophet II comes with heatsinks for both the GeForce 2 core and its memory.
On top of that, the 64MB card we're reviewing today is the first GeForce 2 64MB card available at retail - another plus for Hercules.
Too much of a good thing?
Of course, we learned with the 64MB GeForce DDR that bigger doesn't always mean better. Sure, when you're reading the specs on the back of the box, the 64MB of memory looks pretty darned impressive. But when push comes to shove, the benefits of the extra memory don't begin to show with today's latest games until you enter the realm of higher resolutions.
In the case of our 64MB GeForce DDR tests, the performance gain from the extra memory didn't begin to show until 1280x1024. At that resolution, the GeForce core began to max out, making the extra memory a somewhat questionable feature for gamers on a budget.
We're sure in more demanding situations (16 players firing rockets in q3ctf1 comes to mind) the extra memory would offer greater performance, but overall the GeForce core just isn't fast enough to merit 64MB of memory with today's games.
Now nearly three months later, we're reviewing another 64MB video card, this time it sports the GeForce 2 GTS core. Does the greater performance of the GeForce 2 justify the need for 64MB of DDR SDRAM? Read on and find out!